Fire that injured Milton-Freewater woman probed

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MILTON-FREEWATER -- The Oregon State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of an April 30 house fire that critically injured a local woman.

Virginia Phel, 73, suffered smoke inhalation after a fire broke out at her home in the 1200 block of College Avenue, according to an incident report filed by the Milton-Freewater Fire Department.

City firefighters, assisted by the Rural Fire Department, were dispatched to the single-story residence shortly after 2 p.m. Crews found Phel on the ground between the couch and coffee table, and was taken out of the burning home by two firefighters, according to the report. She was then transported by ambulance to receive emergency care at an area hospital, the report notes.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the eastern Oregon office of the State Fire Marshal. After initial treatment, Phel was transferred to a Spokane hospital, and was back in Milton-Freewater in an assisted care facility, a city fire assistant said.

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